The second match of the day saw Lahore Badshahs take on hosts Ahmedabad Rockets in the ICL 20s Indian Championship and as expected there was a massive crowd turnout at the Sardar Patel Stadium, here, with the figure touching 40 thousand at peak.
The Badshahs, led by Azhar Mahmood in place of injured Inzamam-ul-Haq, batted poorly but more than made up for their batting performance with their impressive bowling to win the match by 31 runs – their first victory in this season.
Put in to bat, the Badshahs started off poorly with their opener
Imran Farhat going down early. Batting on 18, Farhat charged down the track aiming to hit Jason Gillespie beyond the boundary, but instead ended up holing it to mid-off, where skipper Damien Martyn took a fine catch.
Imran Nazir batted on aiming to forge new partnerships, but the effort proved futile as the rest of the batting line-up came a cropper in the face of some fine bowling by Rockets' left-arm bowlers Parvez Aziz and Sumit Kalia, who finished with three scalps each.
Ultimately, it was Kalia's turner that accounted for Nazir's wicket and he was adjudged leg before on 25.
Later, the Badshahs' wicketkeeper-batsman Khalid Mahmood tried to put some life into their batting with 27 on board. But after his dismissal (hit-wicket) in Aziz's over, things took a plunge for the tourists as they tumbled to a meagre 136 for 9 in 20 overs.
In reply, the Rockets looked completely out of sorts in front for Badshahs' bowling which left no room for their batsmen to score. And with Mohammad Sami and Azhar Mahmood bowling in tandem things got worse for the Rockets. Sami packed off Ryan Campbell in the very first over. Campbell looking to hit Sami straight away made room for himself, but was beaten by the pace as the ball that rattled his stumps.
Then it was the turn of Mahmood to draw some blood. His leg-cutter took away opposition skipper Martyn's off stump, when he was batting on 7. The Rockets were reduced to 38 for 4 within a span of minutes.
Reetinder Singh Sodhi did try to stall the fall, but he was done in by medium-pacer Shahid Nazir on 14 as the team total read 68-6. That proved to be the end of the journey for the Rockets as the rest of the batsmen merely made up for the numbers. The Rockets' were bowled out on 105 with five balls to spare.
Brief scores: Lahore Badshahs 136/9 in 20 overs (Nazir 25, Farhat 18, Khalid Mahmood 27; Kalia 3-19, Aziz 3-16) beat Ahmedabad Rockets 105 all out in 19.1 overs (Aziz 26, Sodhi 14, Bhima Rao 13*; Saqlain Mushtaq 3-26, Nazir 2-8, Naved-ul-Hasan 2-11) by 31 runs